Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Writing Process . . . Scott's Way!

In case you're living under a rock, there's a short story contest going on over at The Literary Lab called . . . The Genre Wars. Click on the links, check it out, and bedazzle the great folks over at The Literary Lab with your writing prowess! Wow, finally got to use prowess in a sentence.

I love to cook. I love to try out new recipes. I love to experiment with those recipes. In fact, I love to scottiefy those recipes. I add a bit of this, a bit of that, and just hope for the best. You see, I'm rarely content with how things are . . . I want them to be just a bit better. In fact, I want them to be scottierific! Oooooh, like how I'm creating words using my name? That's the process of scottiefying! Sorry, I'll stop now, I promise.

The scottification process (yes, I know, I promised, but, well, the word just fit) involves a simple concept that I blogged about at one point where a person takes an idea and makes it brilliant . . . from their perspective. I do that when cooking, and I do that when writing.

Sunday night, in bed, my cat Tasmyn curled up next to me and purring contentedly because I'm petting her, and all of a sudden - SYNAPSE! Yes, my brain cells did this neat little twist dance and went - SYNAPSE!

Long story short, in the words of Hayley Mill's character Mary Clancy from the absolutely delightful The Trouble with Angels . . . I had a scathingly brilliant idea. OMG, love the movie, you must watch.

So, I get out of bed, go find the pen/paper, and start jotting down notes for this scathingly brilliant idea. Then, back to bed, back to slumberville, and the night drifts away into a new and gloomy dawn with puffy grey clouds as far as the eye can see. Enough. Rain. Already.

I'm in the shower and - SYNAPSE - the idea from last night begins to take shape in my mind. I already knew how I was going to write the new idea, but now the format of the pages is coming in to place. Yes, the format between pages, the separation of paragraphs, and so much more. So, find pen/paper, jot down more notes and . . .

Well, this is the writing process . . . scottiefied! This is my process, my way, and it's just how I do things . . . even though I do things differently all the time.

Now, what does this have to do with genre wars, well, everything, since this is a short story idea I'm working on that is going to be absolutely scottierific! Ooooh, I'm on a roll, people, watch out!

What is your writing process? What happens from the first idea to putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? Do you ever think about how you're going to format the pages, paragraphs, separation between sections within chapters? Do you think hey, I'm going to write about one event, and multiple perspectives of that same event? Do you think hey, this is going to be first person, third person, fourth person? Do you realize what the short story is going to look like by the time you type the words the end?



Tess said...

love the SYNAPSE! line...very funny.

And, I'm excited about these genre wars but not sure I'll be able to put something together. I suck rocks at short stories.

How I work? It varies...usually it comes like you said in bits and pieces here and there now and later. I jot notes on scraps of paper and napkins and on the back of bill envelopes and then pile them all up and sit down at the computer.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall while you are going through this stuff. I bet it's fun to watch.

Scott said...

Tess - I kind of like the SYNAPSE line too. Is that egotistic of me? : )

I rarely write short stories because, well, like you . . . I suck rocks at short stories. Still, I wanted to give it a try. I completed the rough draft of the short on Monday and will re-look at it this weekend and tweak it just a bit. I have another short story that I wrote years and years ago that I might submit as well.

It might be more interesting to be in my mind while I'm going through this stuff. No, wait, bad idea. My mind is a scary, scary place at times, and you might need some serious therapy afterwards.


Davin Malasarn said...

Scott, amazingly, my process is the same as yours! I get my cat beside me, which sparks an idea that I write down before bed, then, the next morning, I shower to elaborate on that idea! Okay, not exactly, but it SORT OF happens the same way for me. I'll ponder on a little spark of inspiration, and then, slowly, that spark grows and fits together with what I had before until I actually get excited enough about it to write it down. I love that feeling you get when things just start falling into place!

I can't wait to read your entry for the contest! Or, maybe I already have. Since the entries are anonymous, I can't really say. :P

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

LOL on the Scottified - very funny. My writing ideas sometimes come to me in a similar way (minus the cat - I am VERY allergic). I have to say though, that I do NOT apply this same technique with recipes - I am much more of a stick to the directions type of girl;)

Scott said...

Davin - I never used to pay attention to the writing process. I just wrote. Lately, probably because of following so many blogs, I pay a bit more attention to the process, and sometimes blog about it. It's sometimes nice to know I'm not alone out there with my craziness! : )

Kate - thanks. You should try changing up a recipe every now and then. It can be fun and exciting and, well, horrendous a time or two. I think some of my favorite recipes are those where I thought . . . hmmm, ya know, if I add a little bit of this, and some of that, and . . . Normally, it's not something major with spices or seasoning, but rather . . . adding chopped up apples to potato salad to give it an extra crunch, or some red/yellow/orange peppers for added color to a dish, or even adding Italian sausage in place of ground beef. Sometimes, it's the simplest things of all that give a recipe a bit of something else.


Just Joany said...

Love the article, although I don't think your process would work well for me.
Mostly, I pick up my pen or sit at my computer... and write. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I just write the first word that comes to mind, then the second and so on. Eventually, words begin to form sentences and I start to see a pattern. Soon, a story emerges and my mind jumps in. It is a fun way to write. :-) - Joany

Scott said...

Just Joany - thanks. The writing process is totally different for everybody, even when there are some similarities. For whatever reason, Inspiration normally strikes as I'm lying in bed trying to drift off to sleep, or often while reading a book. I think it's because my mind is reaching toward a meditative state at those points, and the pesky little ideas escape with a harsh shove from my subconscious mind. : )

Just Joany said...

I completely understand. On that note, here's one you may enjoy:
We each get creative in our own way and I guess that's why creativity is expressed in so many wonderfully varied ways. I loved reading how your creativity takes shape. - Joany

Just Joany said...

Thought you might enjoy reading this blog:

There are so many ways to create and so many wonderfully talented people in the world that it makes me glad to be a part of the human race. - Just Joany

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